IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – A budgetary rollercoaster ride ends in good news for Michigan’s children. A surprise reversal of federal budget cuts will now ensure the continued funding of child advocacy centers across the state.
Earlier this week, it was discovered that due to a would-be reduction in federal funds, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services would cut funding for child advocacy centers by half, from $12 million down to $6 million.
In a press release dated last Friday, MDHHS announced that federal funds will now not be cut, and that child advocacy centers will remain funded at $12 million for the next fiscal year.
Child advocacy centers provide support services to children who are the victims of abuse and neglect. Caring House Executive Director, Cheryl O’Neil explains the vital role CACs play in the healing of our smallest, and most vulnerable victims of crime.
“All too often children are the forgotten victims,” said O’Neil. “And there’s very limited services in our rural community. So this child advocacy center has provided life saving assistance to the most vulnerable, our children. It has greatly benefited not only the children and their families, but law enforcement and prosecution and the courts as they investigate crimes against children.”
O’Neil, though grateful for the funding for this fiscal year, is concerned about transparency in the budget process for future years, worried that cuts in funding could come with little warning in the years to come.